Wright key to Crosstown

CINCINNATI – There will be no shortage of backcourt confidence when the Bearcats and Musketeers meet for the 79th Skyline Chili Crosstown Shootout.

Xavier's guard tandem of Tu Holloway and Mark Lyons, who have been referred to recently as "Tu Cheekz", are on record as saying there are the best backcourt in the country. However, that sentiment isn't exactly echoed five miles across Cincinnati.

"They believe they are the best, well if you ask us over here, we are going to say we are the best," said junior point guard Cashmere Wright.

Wright went onto say that the key match-up isn't between the two backcourts, but the two teams, and that the best team will beat the best player. However, we stopped short of saying that Cincinnati was the better of the two teams.

It was the team aspect on defense that enabled the Bearcats to limit Holloway to 2-of-11 shooting in last season's meeting, a 66-46 victory at Fifth Third Arena.

"They run a lot of ball screens," said Yancy Gates. "The (forwards) have to hedge and not let him turn the corner. He helps the other guys score. Other than Lyons, who can create his own shot, he helps his teammates."

It will be the ability of Wright to key the defensive effort on Holloway and run the offense efficiently that is the key to Cincinnati's success Saturday. Over the last three games, he has compiled 22 assists with just six turnovers. Wright will also need to score effectively and hit open shots to prevent the Xavier guards from resting on defense.

Head coach Mick Cronin believes that his junior guard is coming off the best half of basketball this season.

"He is always important," said Cronin about Wright.

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